The actual costs of building affordable homes

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There’s lots of talk of why affordable housing is so difficult.  The costs of land and construction are often thrown about as contributing to house prices rising way beyond affordability.

Yet much of those costs are based on anecdote or, at best, modeled information.  What about actual empirical evidence?

Beacon and NZIER have set out to rectify this.

Using the actual costs of 69 affordable and social houses build in Auckland in 2015, we’ve built a Cost Tower.  This divides costs into 7 categories: Land cost; Land development & infrastructure costs; Professional fees; Construction costs; Council and consenting costs;  Finance, valuation and real estate costs; GST. 

The Cost Tower shows where the biggest costs fall (Land and construction) and therefore where the biggest impact of reducing costs will be.  Large variances between top and bottom quartiles show there is considerable room for improvement.  Why are some houses built for so much less than others?  That’s a question the Cost Tower will help builders and developers explore.